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How Much Time Do We Have Left?

In the geography textbook meant for grade ten, there is a chapter on sustainable development. The
last paragraph states that ‘Consequences of environmental degradation do not respect national or
state boundaries; this issue is no longer region or nation-specific.’ The sentence had never held more
In the past twelve years, there have been 3384 articles and papers published in Nature magazine,
specifically about climate change, the extinction of species and global warming. Despite there being
pages and pages worth of proof of the imminent threat of human extinction, the response from
world leaders and even the people has been disappointing at best. According to NASA the global
temperature increases by approximately 0.20 degree Celsius every decade. The amount of heat it
would take to raise the temperature by this absolutely staggering. Peter Sandman, says that “When
hazard is high and outrage is low, people underreact. And when hazard is low and outrage is high,
they overreact.” Most people don’t think about how harmful climate change could be in not only the
long run but the short run as well, which means that the outrage when it comes to this issue is
dangerously low.
Everyone knew about the Amazon burning for three weeks but most of us didn’t think too much of it
because they assumed that the authorities would take care of it. Everyone knew that a heatwave in
Paris had killed 868 people. The heatwave was obviously caused by the rise in temperature. We
need not look too far from our own country either. India is the most polluted country in the entire
world but we do nothing to fix it. Despite the fact that there are dustbins on every street, there is a
disgusting amount of garbage that doesn’t see the inside of a trash can.
It has come to a point where we are depending on teenagers to do undo what their parents did
wrong. Greta Thunberg and every other school going child are horrified at what the world has come
to. Where did everything go so wrong that a sixteen-year-old girl has had to travel across the world
to try and make a better world?
We are at a point in time, where there we need to make changes to survive. This Earth can’t sustain
our habits and wants anymore. From corporate giants to regular people we all have to do what we
can to save the only home we have. Legislation by the government alone cannot fix things. Yes,
industries pollute the environment, but we are the people who support them. There is no easy fix to
combat the problem of climate change. We need to give up luxuries and come together as one to
solve this problem. The petty issues that we have created as a society can be put aside for some
time, while we focus on this.

The time to be scared is now. Climate change is not some distant threat that is far off into the future
any more. There is no use in denying that we are at the brink of extinction. The earth has never
belonged to us. We are merely its temporary residents and it is ready to kick us out.

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